30 Badass Braid Ideas For Every Hair Length

Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images.
There's only so much you can do to your lips before you venture into ridiculous territory and start applying 100 layers of gloss, pressing on crystals, or smearing wasabi paste all over them. Ditto for nails — you can adjust the shape, color, or texture, or even glue on gizmos and gadgets...but that's about it.

Braids, though, are a whole other story. The number of ways in which they can be varied and tweaked — no matter the length or style of your cut — really seems endless. You can knot 'em, wrap them around the crown, switch up your weaving style midway, or, depending on your manual dexterity, you could even attempt a 10-strand plait.

To prove their power, we've got 30 unexpected braid ideas ahead — but only because we didn't think you could make it through 1,000.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Short Hair

Sienna Miller

For Miller's fresh take on a half-updo, draw a strong center-part and grab a small chunk of hair from either side of it. Divide each section in two and twist back the hair like a rope, adding strands from each side as you rotate.
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Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images.
Ruby Rose
Or try it with a side-part and looser, three-strand braids, like the DJ and face of Urban Decay.
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Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Images.
Carey Mulligan
Even the most braid-challenged will be able to loosely weave a few strands together from the hairline and tuck them behind the ears with pins.
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Photo via @joansmalls.
Joan Smalls
The model looked super hot with ultra-tight, ultra-thin cornrows leading back into her ponytail — but this look works on short hair, too.
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Photo: AFP/Getty Images.
Shailene Woodley
For Woodley's look, braid right along your part (working sections under, not over). The trick here is to only pick up pieces from one side as you go. Then, pull apart the braid for additional fullness.
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Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images.
Emma Stone
If you have a lob, you can create a faux bob by braiding tightly across the nape of the neck.
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Photo: XPX/Star Max/Getty Images.
Miley Cyrus
Get a fauxhawk by gelling the top of your pixie, then tightly braiding the side sections and joining them at the back.
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Photo: Anita Bugge/Getty Images.
Julianne Hough
Go halfsies on a milkmaid braid.
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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
Yes, Bey's hair at this year's VMAs was crazy-long (see the back view, ahead). But the top portion of it is doable for any length.
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Photo via @tavitulle.
Tavi Gevinson
Let a few teensy braids peek out from a bob with bedhead texture.
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Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images.
Kerry Washington
The actress is a triple hair threat with bangs, Brigitte Bardot-worthy teasing, and a crown braid holding it all together.
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Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images.
Medium-Length Hair

Emma Watson

If all of your shoulder-length hair doesn't quite make it into a loose side-braid without falling out, try Watson's trick: Braid the shorter pieces into the longer braid around the back.
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Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images.
Kristen Stewart
Loose tendrils add even more romance to a crown braid. Knot it into an unfussy bun at the nape.
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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images.
Sofia Richie
A single cornrow takes a boring part to the next level.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Cara Delevingne
Glamorous waves on one side, rock-'n'-roll undercut on the other.
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Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images.
Olivia Palermo
Fishtail braids make pigtails feel a whole lot more sophisticated.
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Photo: Frazer Harrison/BAFTA LA/Getty Images.
Jennifer Lawrence
Secure a low ponytail, braid the length, and then roll it up into a pretty bun.
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Photo: Michael Stewart/Getty Images.
Bella Hadid
A basic braid feels black tie-appropriate when you pair it with a clean center-part and sleek, wet texture.
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Photo via @laurapolko.
Marianna Hewitt
Can't decide between a braid and a ponytail? Do both — and separate them with a chic metal clasp.
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Photo: Rabbani and Solimene/Getty Images.
Long Hair


The singer rocked a red-carpet hairstyle that would make Daenerys very, very proud.
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Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images.
Chrissy Teigen
This is how you update a regular old ponytail.
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Photo: Charles Eshelman/Getty Images.
Shay Mitchell
The actress' pulled-apart fishtail braid is a work of art (and quite possibly, a look you'll need a helping hand with).
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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
Naomi Campbell
The supermodel took the rope braid to the next level — and that level was far below her waist.
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Constance Jablonski
Perfect is boring. Make knots, grab uneven sections, and encourage loose pieces to stick out for the coolest braid ever.
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Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images.
This look seems time-consuming, but it's surprisingly simple since you're just doing a classic, three-strand weave.
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Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images.
Chanel Iman
The model plays off the chain-mail texture of her dress with a tight fishtail.
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Photo: C. Flanigan/Getty Images.
Zoë Kravitz
Gather your braids into a low, looped knot for a look that works from the gym to the gala.
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Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images.
Jessica Alba
Alba's fuzzy-textured braid is fairy-tale princess hair come to life.
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Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
Hailee Steinfeld
Top off a rope twist with a sweet bow.
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Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images.
Margot Robbie
A small panel of a braid — fenced off with latex elastics — looks unique and requires one-third of the work.
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